Exclusive interview with Prakashraj
Prakashraj needs no introduction. He started his journey about 12 years ago with the film Duet directed by K.Balachander. There was no looking back for this versatile actor. He explored various types of characters. Prakashraj is a big asset to any film is the present trend.
Prakashraj is producing Abaddam on Duet Films banner in the direction of his guru K.Balachander. Uday Kiran is the hero. Abaddam is releasing on 23rd December in both Telugu and Tamil (as Poi). TotalTollywood caught up exclusive with Prakashraj and discussed in detail about his career and plans.
What is Abaddam about?
You should ask this question to K.Balachander. He is the right person to answer this question. He is directing a film after a long gap. I consider this as my gurudakshina. He gave me an identity. He made me what I am now from an unknown.
During one of our conversations, after he expressed his interest in directing a film, I proposed to produce it. He had a sketch in mind already. He said he will film in Sri Lanka for 48 days with the backdrop of Tsunami and then film the songs in Australia. 'I wanted to tell the audience that whatever I spoke of as truth till date is nothing but a lie', said Balachander.
That is why the title Abaddam. That film is only possible for him.
K.Balachander has spoken through his films about Love, social issues, middle class and many things. This film is entirely different from all those. He told that himself in the audio release function. He said he reinvented himself. After directing 100 films which are critically and commercially successful, a director comments that he reinvented himself. You should see what he has done on the screen. By the way, for the first time, Balachander acted in a film. He played a key role in the film.
What role did he play?
He runs the story (quips).
Balachander introduced you to the film industry and now you are producing a film with him. How do you feel?
So happy. No words for it. I feel blessed for this life.
Is Abaddam a Duet Films production or Anandhi Arts film in Telugu?
It is both. Anandhi Arts is presenting the film in Telugu and Duet films is the production banner.
How did you get hold of Vimala Raman (heroine, Miss Australia)?
She is hand picked by K.Balachander himself. I dont even know who she was. He showed me a picture of her and said he saw something in her eyes.
I didnt say another word. I always go by his word and there is no exception here. There is also one more girl in this film - Geetu Mohandas. Most of the cast is new and very young.
What did K.Balachander mean by reinventing himself? What is your prespective?
From his words, he is going to show something different than what he has been preaching all this while. He is going with the basic concept that there
is nothing like predefined fate. Every one designs their own fate depending on what they do. Be it good or bad, it happens to an individual by his own deeds.
How did you pick Udaykiran for this role?
When I was shooting in Hyderabad one day, I got a call from Balachander. He called me to his office. When I went there, I saw Uday waiting outside. He said he came there to see K.Balachander. By that time he already spoke with Balachander and showed him couple of his movies. He announced to Balachander that he is interested in working for Tamil films and would let Balachander decide on his talent watching his movies. Balachander liked the approach of Uday and asked me if I am okay with that. As I said, I never
go against Balachander's word. So it is all Uday's achievement. He convinced Balachander.
What did he do to convince Balachander?
Balachander is a master, a Guru. He wont be convinced unless he sees something of what he wanted to see.
I did not know who I was until I met him. So
I dont know what he saw in him but he got convinced. So Uday must really have proved something there.
What are the reasons for the delay with this movie?
There are many reasons. Is it necessary to discuss those now? The film is all set to release in 4 days. See it and enjoy.
You are into production too. You produced few films in Tamil (Daya, a film with Laila and others). Why not in Telugu?
Very soon. I am producing a film in Telugu very soon and it will start in 2007.
How successful do you see yourself as a producer?
I dont care on what others see as my success. I have to be satisfied with what I have achieved. And I am. Anyways, it is only 4 years that I am a producer. Let us see where I will be after 10 years.
So you plan to sail on both the ships
I see it as a journey rather than 2 ships. I might be a director or a writer tomorrow. For those watching, they might feel that I am taking multiple
paths. For me, it is just a journey. Journey of exploring myself.
You act in almost all South Indian languages and give your own dubbing. In addition you even adapt different slangs in every language. How are you able to do that?
That is the respect I have for a language and that culture. For audience to accept me as their own, I have to reach out to them. That is very key for an actor. I would not be a complete actor if some one is giving me voice. And also I like to experiment. For example, in Stalin I use Nellore slang. That gives a whole new dimension to the character.
That is how I work. I always look to see on what I can add to the character. I am getting offers not because the producers see a huge business potential in me but they see that I can add more on to the character.
I have to stand up to that
to keep up their confidence in me. So I learn new things.
You have done different kind of roles. Is there any kind of role that you want to do
Not sure. I always trust in the work of writer and director. They are the craftsmen. They mould the artist the way they want to.
Some times the same craftsmen might fail in writing good characters. Are there any such instances when you felt bad?
Plenty of them.
In recent days, some of your roles are monotonous and sometimes disappointing. Why?
It is my mistake. Sometimes I have to commit to films out of obligation if the producer or the director is a friend.
Cinema has given me a life and I like to be of use to at least a few. And some times I get exploited. But it is not their mistake. It is my mistake since I gave them that leniance.
Who are the directors who you feel most comfortable with?
I am comfortable with every one. Maniratnam, Krishnavamsi.. everyone. It is a different experience with each director. What would you answer if I asked you who would you be more comfortable within your family.
This chat happened on the sets of Munna. Prakashraj is playing a key role in the film. Prakashraj spent time during the break in this exclusive interivew provided to TotalTollywood and Eenadu. We thank him for all the time and his patience during this interview. We wish the entire unit of Abaddam a big success.